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Rick & Morty Tells Its Audience That Rick Is a Great Character but an Awful Person

Morty, in the passenger seat of a spacecraft, worriedly watches a drunk Rick pilot it.

**Spoilers for Rick & Morty season four**

Rick & Morty is one of my favorite shows ever, and I have absolutely been enjoying the most recent season, especially because it seems to be making it very clear that (a) this show isn’t for fascists, and (b) Rick is a self-destructive creep. Yes, it’s okay to follow him on this journey and even find him interesting or amusing, but the reality is that he is not a good person, and his need to know everything can be truly exhausting.

Within the last three episodes: “Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat,” “The Old Man And The Seat,” and “One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Morty,” the series has been both its most fun and its most self-aware.

Episode three reveals that Morty actually had a dream and enthusiasm for something, but Rick purposefully drains his enthusiasm for the project in order to keep his grandson under his own thumb. Yes, this ends with a playful wink, but there is no denying it: Rick, despite the chance to be part of a family, can’t deal with the lack of control.

With the previous episode, where Rick obsesses over who sat on his toilet and he discovers Tony, an alien who is depressed after losing his wife, Rick gives him several attempts to have his perfect reality, but Tony would rather live in a chaotic reality than a false sense of control the way Rick does. You wouldn’t think that an episode about “shy pooping” and literally taking the perfect dump would be an episode about the loneliness of Rick’s reality, and yet.

Part of what makes a character like Rick Sanchez so appealing as a lead character is that he’s this self-fulfilling character who is too brilliant for his own good. However, because so many people like to turn character flaws into woobie excuses, it creates a lot of confusion for those fans who are watching the show. I hope the young men of this world realize that it’s not enough to just “relate” to troubled characters like BoJack, Rick, and Walter White, and feel like you are “learning” from their mistakes.

Y’all need to go to therapy because, as my friend aptly put it, this is not a substitute for actual growth and self-awareness. We can meme about how certain characters are often loved despite their problematic behavior, but when the writers make it very clear where they stand and you still valorize them, it’s a personal problem.

Even more so, I loved the first episode doing such a good job of pointing out the fact that Rick would never be a fascist and doesn’t stand with them because he’s too into individuality to side with any totalitarian society. He’s a bad person and has no respect for life, but he’s a lot more self-aware than expected.

Also, the Akira joke slaps, and I am going to be laughing about it forever.

What have been your favorite parts of the new Rick & Morty?


(note: Sorry for the mislabeling of the season! I hope no one got spoiled! If you did then I guess I owe you one magical toilet)

(image: Adult Swim)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.